THE CHINESE CHARACTER 57
man when he is down" out of respect for fair play, the Chinese equivalent expression "do not push a fellow to the wall" Is merely a matter of culture, or hanyang, as we call It.
To the Chinese, the Versailles Treaty Is not only unfalr2 it Is merely vulgar or lacking In hanjang. If the Frenchman had been Inbued a little with the spirit of Taoism at the moment of his victory, he would not have imposed the Versailles Treaty,, and his head would rest more easily on his pillow to-day. But France was young, and Germany would certainly have done the same thing, and no one realizes the extreme silliness of two nations like France and Germany each trying to keep the other permanently under its Iron heels. But Clemenceau had not read Laotse. Nor has Hitler. So let them fight3 while the Taoist watches and smiles,
Chinese pacifism Is also largely a matter of temperament as well as of human understanding. Chinese boys fight much less In the street than Western boys. As a peoples we fight much less than we ought to, In spite of our interminable civil wars. Put the American people under the same misrule and there would have been thirty revolutions, not three. In the last twenty years. Ireland is now at peace because the Irish fought hard, and we arc still fighting to-day because we do not fight hard enough.
Nor are Chinese civil wars fighting In the real sense of the word. Until recently, civil wars were never glorified. Conscription for service Is unknown, and the soldiers who do the fighting are poor people who do not know how to make a living otherwise. These soldiers do not relish a good fight, and the generals relish the fight because they do .not do the fighting. In any major campaign silver bullets have always won, In spite of the fact that the conquering hero may make a majestic triumphal return to the capital to the accompaniment of the boom of guns. Those guns-—they suggest so much the sound of battle, arid they are typical, for in Chinese private quarrels and civil warfare, It Is the sound and noise that make up the essence of the battle. One does not see fighting in China; one merely hears it. I heard two such battles, one in Peking, and one in Amoy. Aurally, it was satisfying. Usually a superior army merely awes the inferior enemy into defeat, and what